Monday, August 16, 2010

Five And A Half Feet Over

"The Big C," in which Laura Linney shined brilliantly tonight, is Showtime's madcap take on soberer insights, such those in Atul Gawande's arresting "New Yorker" article, about the choices terminally ill people have between savoring the time they have left or submitting to debilitating, ultimately hopeless treatment regimes. "I'm here all year, appearing at stage four," Linney's character, Cathy Jamison, says defiantly at the end of tonight's first episode. Then the camera rises straight up, showing her on a couch she's dragged into the backyard and dropped into the hole she's just ordered dug for the swimming pool she always wanted. It's one ominously shaped rectangle. But this great new show is all about this side of six feet under.

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